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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Comments on the keynote day 1

Bill Gates gave the keynote today at PDC05. I like hearing him talk about the software industry – here’s a guy who truly loves software, calling it is the biggest agent for change in the world. Addressing the question of whether the best days of software development are behind us, he rightly says that this is one of the most exciting times in the future looks very interesting. The development of the Internet and the boom and bust cycle that we all witnessed was certainly an exciting time (mostly the boom). But the advent of truly connected devices and systems makes this an interesting time regardless of the platform on which you are developing. And the Microsoft platform is getting more interesting all the time.

I loved the Bill Gates / Napoleon Dynamite video. IMHO, the very best part is the dance bit at the end.

I was impressed with Office 12 (and I understand there’s more to come tomorrow). I did not expect to be. I suspected that the world didn’t need a new Office. For example, I think that the improvements in Office 2003, while significant, and did not make for a compelling upgrade from Office XP for a significant set of users. With Office 12, though, it is immediately apparent how they have made great strides in helping users get their work done faster. Of course, there are all sorts of other interesting features for sharing, workflow, etc. but I can see how your average user will look at Office 12 and say, “I’ve gotta have that.”

The Vista demos looked very good. I have played around with some of this already, so it didn’t feel particularly new, but it sure is cool. It will certainly do a much better job of helping users work with the data on their machines. And I don’t mean in a Google Desktop kind of way, but with an extensible file edge view should model that allows for slicing and dies in your files in arbitrary, useful ways.

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